TItle: Lunch Break Thrillers: A Collection of 12 Short Stories
Author: Declan Conner
Genre: Crime/mystery thrillers.
Links to Purchase Short Story Collection:
Sample Short Story:
“The Mystery of the Crimson Robe”
Rookie homicide Detective, Nancy Roberts, took great pleasure in her early morning walks in the local woods. This particular Friday morning was no exception. It was her special time to lose herself in the innocence of nature and forget the daily inhumanity she encountered on the streets. As she ambled along the trail, she kicked at the winter’s decaying foliage, releasing odours of a season past. A sudden searing pain gripped her. She stubbed her toes on a rock. “Aargh,” she shrieked. The initial pain was intense. It caused her to feel nauseated, and she sat down on the grassy slope beside a thicket. She removed her sneaker and began to rub her toes when a sound caught her attention. It was the distinct sound of rustling leaves being kicked up along the trail. Too loud for a small critter? Edging closer to the bush, she craned her neck and peered through a thick cover of leaves.
A figure approached, wearing a hooded top. She couldn’t see the face, but it was clearly a man. There was a prevailing sense of danger, and she froze, hoping the bushes would give her sanctuary. Her hand slipped inside her jacket. Hell, left my pistol at home. As he neared, she could make out his full figure and realized the hooded top was a silk-crimson dressing gown with white trim. How odd. She thought it even odder that his feet were bare. He was holding his side with both hands as if he was fatigued. Head bowed, he stumbled by without even glancing her way. Blood? That’s blood down his leg. She felt alarmed, but a sense of relief that her chameleon-like stance left her unnoticed. Her mind whirred away running over scenarios from the guy having an accident, to being mugged, to being an attacker escaping a felony. Instinct and self-preservation from fifteen years on the payroll at LAPD told her this was no time to catch up to him asking questions without backup or a firearm.
Damn, what if someone’s after him? Her eyes shot in all directions as she fumbled, unable to put her sneaker on in a panic. There were other noises, but she couldn’t get a fix on them. Fear gripped her when she realized she had also left her cell phone at home. Any notion of fitting her sneaker was put on hold, and she hobbled down the track as fast as her legs would carry her. What am I doing? She stopped following his direction. He could be a crazy. A quick diversion and she scrambled up the slope to make a shortcut out of the woods. Along the way, she stooped and picked up a stout branch as a weapon. Her heart raced and her lungs felt like they might explode. She started to turn her head at the sound of a breaking twig, when a sudden flash of bright coloured lights filled her vision. She felt a blow to the side of her head… then darkness